Kids Safe Saturday scheduled for April 28 at Civic Center

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Apr. 22, 2007 - The Annual Kids Safe Saturday will kick off next Saturday, April 28, at 9 a.m. for kids up to age 12.

This year's event will be held at Hopkins County Regional Civic Center, with Hopkins County Memorial Hospital and Emergency Medical Services' Bike Helmet Rodeo being held in the parking lot at Sulphur Springs High School. In order to participate in this event, youths will be required to bring their bike.

Like the rest of the "Think Child Safety Fair," the Bike Helmet Rodeo will open at 9 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m. To claim a free safety prize, obtain a coupon to redeem at the EMS booth, according to Gloria Phillips, coordinator for East Texas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

The kids safety fair, a project of East Texas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, is funded in part this year by Texas Department of State Health Services and sponsored by the Kids Safety Coalition.

The four-hour event will feature lots of games and activities with messages on safety topics applying to bicycles, water, drugs, autos and traffic, school buses, fires, the Internet and guns, and many other safety topics and tips.

At least six characters will be making special appearances at Kids Safe Saturday. Among them are Sulphur Springs Fire Department's Quick Attack Fire Safety Clowns, Sulphur Springs Police Department's McGruff the Crime Dog, Sulphur Springs Independent School District's Buster the School Bus, the Good Neigh Bear, Ready Teddy, Beat the Heat, and Crash Dummies Vince and Larry. Emergency helicopters will also be available for viewing at the safety fair.

Generally ,about 40 booths are set up. Local law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services generally have vehicles at the location, affording children a first-hand look at the patrol and response vehicles.

This fair has steadily grown since its inception in 2000, with more than 1,000 attendees and 50 agencies, retailers, organizations, churches and businesses participating last.

The 2005 Kids Safe Saturday brought out a record 1,925 people, nearly double the 2004 attendance. In 2003, the event drew a crowd of 1,167.

Those attending are encouraged to enjoy the free hot dogs and Coca-Cola, provided by exhibitors and donations from local businesses.

For more information on Kids Safe Saturday, contact Gloria Phillips at 903-784-1959.

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